It never fails – right as the dentist office closes for the weekend, that tooth you have been “meaning” to take care of starts aching. At first, it’s just a little bother, but because this isn’t the first time, you know exactly where this is headed; up all night, mind-numbing, jaw throbbing PAIN! I know this can be a scary time, but don’t freak out just yet! There are some items you may have lying around the house that can get you through the rough weekend ahead until you can get in to get your tooth checked out.
Traditional OTC Pain Killers
At the first sign of a toothache, the first place someone runs to is the medicine cabinet to grab the painkillers. Taken as directed, painkillers, like Advil and Tylenol, can give you a temporary relief from the pain. They work by sensitizing the nerves that surround the injury giving a person the sense that the pain is gone. Alas, like most good things, the relief that you get from pain killers does come to an end. People quickly build a tolerance to them and, often times end up taking more than they are supposed to; which can cause real harm.
Another popular method that folks run to is antiseptic mouthwash. By swishing the mouthwash around the infected area for several minutes, the antiseptic ingredients in the solution will kill any bacteria causing the pain. Since you introduce more bacteria to the area when you eat, drink, or even breath, this is merely a temporary solution.
For those looking for a simple, more natural solution of curing their toothache, garlic and cloves are known to be excellent ways to knock out bacteria. Cut up the fresh garlic, or cloves, and mash into a sort of paste. Add some salt to the paste, which breaks down the mixture, though many have sworn this isn’t necessary. Rub the paste into the affected tooth and let sit for 15-20 minutes. There is a chemical known as allicin in garlic that is a natural antibacterial, killing the bacteria that cause the pain. Cloves work differently, though, by temporarily numbing the tooth and the surrounding gums. Neither tastes very good, but both are all natural and relieve the pain.
All of these home remedies are just for temporary purposes, of course. It is highly recommended that you get yourself to a dentist to get checked out as soon as possible after a toothache starts. Prolonging the visit can make the pain worse and can cause serious damage.